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Archive for the ‘viruses’ tag

Viruses and Spyware

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If you saw my post earlier this week, you read that the AVERAGE computer user probably doesn’t need to replace a system that is less than 5 years old (by average I mean that you use your computer for E-mail, Internet surfing, digital pictures, and Word Processing). So what happens when your computer starts dragging?

First off, make sure you have good Antivirus protection, and make sure it is UP-TO-DATE. Here’s how the Antivirus works. You bought it, installed it (or it came pre-installed on your computer) and you learned that you had a 1 year or 3 month trial subscription. Shortly before the subscription terminated you probably started getting notices (by E-mails or popups) asking you to renew. If you didn’t renew and your antivirus is out of date, then your system is at a very high risk. Several new viruses are released to the computer world every day. If your subscription is even one week out of date, there are likely 50+ viruses that you are now succeptible to. Renew your subscription, and if your system is 3+ years old, reinstall the latest version of Antivirus. I recommend Norton Internet Security.

If you are upgrading your antivirus or installing it from scratch, I recommend that you UNinstall the previous version, reboot, and then install. Antivirus applications will bang heads against each other, and will cause more frustration than comfort.

Another item that can drag down your comptuer is Spyware. Spyware collects information about you and attempts to pass it back to the designers. Spyware can be comparatively benign (what shopping sites you like to visit) or can be downright malicious. If your current software isn’t catching threats, consult a professional. Threats can be removed, but some of the tools (such as HiJack This or the Registry Editor) can be dangerous if mishandled.

Keep your Microsoft Windows up-to-date. On most systems, just go to www.WindowsUpdate.com. Install all the updates it suggests, reboot, and then go back to this site again. Repeat until the threat is gone.

Finally, your system  may need more memory. How to find out: Right click on the icon for “My Computer” and select “Properties.” The memory will be listed on this page. MOST systems I work on only have 512MB. I recommend a minimum of 1024MB (also called 1GB), and more if your system and wallet will handle it. Go to www.Crucial.com and run their free system scanner. It will report back in about 1 minute, telling you how much your system currently has, and how much more it can take. If you are not comfortable working in your computer, again, contact a professional technician to handle the install (static electricity can quickly destroy the inside of your computer).

Best wishes to all, I hope this advice is helpful to you!!

Brady Gilbert has 8 years corporate IT experience and is now fulltime owner/technician for Call Brady, Computer Services (www.CallBrady.com). Call with any of your computer needs. He is also a web designer, and can help with projects large (www.CallBrady.com) or small (www.1Site1Day.com). Brady is a graduate of Furman University and Greenville Technical College. He is A+ and CCNA certified.

Written by Brady Gilbert

December 5th, 2008 at 11:51 am